A lawyer who sued big-time law firm Greenberg Traurig for sex bias has given some insights into why she left BigLaw.
Francine Griesing has spent 32 years in the law — landing a top role in Philadelphia’s legal department and working as a partner at big firms, The Am Law Daily reports.
“At every stage, I faced incredible obstacles that my male peers did not face,” the Ivy League law grad said at a conference Thursday.
These obstacles included late nights she spent juggling legal briefs with family chores like laundry and dinner.
Griesing declined to elaborate on her experience at Greenberg Traurig at the conference. In her lawsuit, she said the firm treated its women lawyers like second-class citizens. The firm systematically paid women attorneys less than men and derided their work, according to the lawsuit.
She and Greenberg eventually settled the suit for an undisclosed sum. (Greenberg called her suit a publicity stunt and denied the allegations.) She has since started her own law firm, which tries to offer lawyers flexibility. Unlike big corporate law firms, hers doesn’t give “origination credit” to lawyers who bring in new business as part of an effort to create a team-like environment.
BigLaw is a notoriously tough place for women — especially those trying to have children. The punishing hours and inflexibility make it hard to have a family, some lawyers say. In her suit against Greenberg, Griesing also said the firm had a “good old boy” culture.
At the conference Thursday, she didn’t seem too optimistic that corporate law was going to be a good place for women anytime soon, Am Law reported.
“I have a 23-year-old who attended Barnard, and I would never want her to go to law school,” Griesing said. “I hope that’s not the answer when she has a daughter.”
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